Ryley Wastell, Daniel Godwin, Molly Franke, Sienna Italiano, Lily Corso, Olivia Corso and Tayla Greay represented Our Lady of Mercy College at the Anzac Day Service in Harvey on Sunday 25 April. The group marched along Uduc Road and then participated in the ceremony.
The students listened to the address from Mr David Marshall, who spoke about the reasons why we celebrate Anzac Day. He said, we should not glorify war but instead celebrate the courage of the men and women who went to war and fought for our freedom.
Today, Tuesday, 27 April, students at the College paid their respects to the Anzacs by participating in an Anzac Ceremony during homeroom. All year groups met in silence on the school courtyard between the Ursula Frayne and Catherine McCauley Buildings.
Daniel Godwin, Jack Cross, Josh Jacob and William Pierce addressed the students and spoke about the story of the Anzacs. The students learned about the landing in Gallipoli, as Josh quoted from Private AB Facey's book 'A Fortunate Life'.
Quinn Kenyon lead the prayer, after which Hayley Cooper and Mikela Faries laid a wreath in memory of those who have lost their lives through Australia’s involvement in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
William Pierce recited the Anzac Day Ode, which was followed by the Last Post, One Minute's Silence and the Rouse.
Ethan Nankivell played the Last Post and the Rouse.
Please find below the script of the ceremony of this morning:
ANZAC DAY 2021
Introduction by Daniel:
On this day, above all days, we remember those Australian men and women who died or suffered in the tragedy of war.
On the morning of April 25th, 1915, Australian and New Zealand troops landed under fire at Gallipoli, and it was then and in the violent campaign, which followed, that the ANZAC tradition was forged. The elements of that tradition have inspired and offered an enduring example to later generations of Australians.
Each year we pay homage not only to those original Anzacs, but also to all who died or were injured in their service to this country. They enrich our nation’s history. Their hope was for the freedom of humankind and we remember with pride their courage, their compassion and their comradeship. They served on land and sea and in the air, in many places throughout the world.
We recall friends and allies, and especially those of the first Anzac Day.
May we prove worthy of their sacrifice.
Address by Jack Cross:
At around 4.30am on 25 April 1915, the first soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed in the Ari Burnu area of the Gallipoli Peninsula. On the same morning, soldiers from Britain, France and their colonies launched assaults at nearby Cape Helles and Kum Kale.
The Allies were determined to destroy the fort overlooking the Dardanelles to allow a naval fleet to enter the Sea of Marmara and bombard the Ottoman capital of Constantinople. They hoped this would force Turkey’s surrender, ease pressure on Russia and deprive Germany of a major ally.
Historians estimate that some 2000 Australians were killed or wounded on 25 April, but there are no precise casualty figures for that day. Private AB Facey said about the landing:
‘We were scared stiff – I know I was – but keyed up and eager to be on our way. We thought we would tear right through the Turks and keep going to Constantinople. Troops were taken off both sides of the ship onto destroyers. My platoon were on the same destroyers. All went well until we were making the charge into rowing boats.
Suddenly all hell broke loose: heavy shelling and shrapnel fire commenced. Bullets were thumping into us in the rowing boat. Men were being hit and killed all around me.
When we were cut loose to make our way to the shore was the worst period. I was terribly frightened. The boat touched bottom some thirty yards from the shore, so we had to jump out and wade into the beach. The water in some places was up to my shoulders.
The Turks had machine guns sweeping the strip of the beach where we landed – there were many dead already when we got there. Bodies of men who had reached the beach ahead of us were lying all along the beach and wounded men were screaming for help.
We could not stop for them. The Turkish fire was terrible and mowing into us. The order to line up on the beach was forgotten. We all ran for our lives over the strip of beach and got into the scrub and bush’.
AB Facey survived Gallipoli and WWI and went on to write 'A Fortunate Life'.
For eight months, the Anzacs hung on to their positions on the ridges and gullies above Anzac Cove. They could not go forward, but the Turks could not force them back into the sea.
In December 1915, the Anzacs were evacuated, and by then, some 8,700 Australians and 2,700 New Zealanders had been killed. In total, the Gallipoli campaign cost the lives of around 44,000 allied and 86,000 Turkish soldiers.
Prayer by Quinn Kenyon:
As we observe Anzac Day this year, we remember all who have lost their lives through Australia’s involvement in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. We especially remember the courageous actions undertaken by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the First and Second World Wars.
We pray for the airmen, sailors and soldiers who have died in battle, sacrificing their lives while on duty. We commemorate their bravery and pray for the families who have lost loved ones.
As we strive for peace in our country and world, help us to become instruments of your peace.
We ask this prayer through Christ our Lord.